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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Mar 24;58(6):3380-92. doi: 10.1021/jf9039155.

Blueberry treatment antagonizes C-2 ceramide-induced stress signaling in muscarinic receptor-transfected COS-7 cells.

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USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Previous research has shown that muscarinic receptors (MAChRs) show loss of sensitivity in aging and AD and are selectively sensitive to oxidative stress (OS). Thus, COS-7 cells transfected (tn) with MAChR subtype M1 show > OS sensitivity [as reflected in the ability of the cell to extrude or sequester Ca(2+) following depolarization (recovery) by oxotremorine (oxo) and exposure to dopamine (DA) or amyloid beta (Abeta)] than M3-transfected COS-7 cells. Blueberry (BB) extract pretreatment prevented these deficits. Research has also indicated that C2 ceramide (Cer) has several age-related negative cellular effects (e.g., OS). When these cells were treated with Cer, the significant decrements in the ability of both types of tn cells to initially respond to oxo were antagonized by BB treatment. Present experiments assessed signaling mechanisms involved in BB protection in the presence or absence of DA, Abeta, and/or Cer in this model. Thus, control or BB-treated M1 and M3 tn COS-7 cells were exposed to DA or Abeta(42) in the presence or absence of Cer. Primarily, results showed that the effects of DA or Abeta(42) were to increase stress (e.g., PKCgamma, p38MAPK) and protective signals (e.g., pMAPK). Cer also appeared to raise several of the stress and protective signals in the absence of the other stressors, including PKCgamma, pJNK, pNfkappaB, p53, and p38MAPK, while not significantly altering MAPK, or Akt. pArc was, however, increased by Cer in both types of transfected cells. The protective effects of BB when combined with Cer generally showed greater protection when BB extract was applied prior to Cer, except for one protective signal (pArc) where a greater effect was seen in the M3 cells exposed to Abeta(42.) In the absence of the Abeta(42) or DA, for several of the stress signals (e.g., pNfkappaB, p53), BB lowered their Cer-induced increases in M1- and M3-transfected cells. We are exploring these interactions further, but it is clear that increases in ceramide, to the same levels as are seen in aging, can have profound effects on calcium clearance and signaling during oxidative stress.

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